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Nissan Maxima Maintenance and Repair



  • Kagedude-

    I don't have any waxing tips for you, but I do
    recall that you were once having starting problems with your Max. Is that still happening? I also have a sterling mist 2001 (GXE) and live in New York. If you want to compare notes without tying up this board, write me at
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    There is a lot of debate on waxes. Since you live in New York I would consider one of the more durable waxes. Carnauba looks great, but I don't think it will last through your tough winters. I don't think you have warm days in February where you can rewax. These durable waxes use various polymeres and acrylics and come in 2 varieties.

    Paste waxes with durability additives like Collinite, and 3M Paste wax with ASE. Use glaze like Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze, or 3M Imperial Hand Glaze as a prep coat. Use a soft foam pad if applied by machine like Meguiars. A harder foam pad with a terry cloth bonnet will have a slight tendency to produce swirl marks. These waxes are very forgiving. Easy to apply and give incredible depth to the shine if directions are followed.

    I recently put 3M Perfect-It Show Car wax after applying a coat of glaze and it truly lives up to it's name. I felt like Erkle (Did I do that??) I found that it applied equally well by machine, or by hand. It looks as good as a Natural Carnauba. I will be putting on another coat in a couple of weeks. I like the extra layer of protection. IT is supposed to last at least 6 months.

    The second type are the acrylic polymers (the actual names vary widely). The most common high quality types on forums I've seen are Liquid Glass, Klasse, and Zaino. Less expensive ones are TR3, TR5, and Nufinish. I have tried these and while they looked pretty good and seemed fairly durable, then didn't match the 3M or Meguiar's Hard Yellow #26 finish.

    Polymers are more durable, but often don't have the depth of shine. I've consistently read that they don't fill in scratches as well as natural waxes. (3M filled in scratches very well on my 11 year old car.) I understand that Klasse is the exception to this. Zaino frankly is too expensive and complicated to use. It can be unforgiving.

    Hope this helps sort out a complicated issue.
  • If only because of his name, I would have to defer to mrdetailer, even though I don't know him personally, but I have been using Zaino successfully on my Maxima since it was new. I must respectfully disagree with him, though, because Zaino is neither complicated to use nor at all unforgiving, IMHO. As to cost, that's another debate item. I see Zaino as economical because it lasts so very long.

    There is a Townhall forum about waxes, and another solely for Zaino. Check them out and make your own decision :)
  • sgrd0qsgrd0q Posts: 398
    A question for mrdetailer. I just bought it, but haven't used it yet. Their instructions seem fairly straight forward. You say Zaino is complicated to use - what do you mean by this?

    By the way I haven't waxed a car previously; this will be my first time, so I am a little cautious.
  • I posted a note (#2892)on the Maxima board on 9/7. I went back to the servis dept. today & here is what I found out. The service guy & me took out a 2001 SE for a little ride around the lot. This was an unsold unit off the lot. After the car was warmed up, the thump noise that I have been experiencing on my car was replicated in that car. The service guy as well as the manager tell me that they had another car in for 3 days with the same noise. Motor mounts were eventually replaced, prompted by the tech line that these guys call with problems that have them scratching their heads. After that, that car still made the same "thump" on moderate accelaration. They tell me that this seems to be inherent in '00 and'01 SEs and I believe them as I heard it myself in the other car I rode in. Please try this yourselves and let me know if you notice it, especially after warm up and you've driven a couple of minutes. Again, it is kind of a thump sensation / noise in the front when you first hit the gas under moderate accelaration. The tech that was with me explained that the ECU controls the motor mounts (2) in the SE and hypothosises that it may be sending the wrong signal to the mount or mounts under moderate acceleration. It does not seem to affect the performance at all but a little odd for a car with a 27K sticker. This tech. tells me that he is almost certain that a bulletin will eventually go out on this, assuming enough complaints are found. He also told me that the '02 that he was "prepping" does it also. Again, please try it with yours & post what you find. Another way to replicate the "thump" is to put it in drive if automatic, hold the brake down and goose the accelerater a little like you may have done in the "old days" to check for busted motor mounts. Thanks alot for taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for the help.
  • vanbo33 - I can tell you that this does not happen on my 02 Maxima SE. Maybe it has to do with the 3.5 motor or they corrected it for this year.

    I will keep you informed if I start experiencing it. I only have 900 miles right now, so maybe it is too soon.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    I use the 3M in place of Zaino because it seems more forgiving, and is difficult to apply. I was exhausted after a trip so I washed my Car in an automatic car wash. With 3M, and the dirt just flew off It also dried quicker.

    I had a friend who used Klasse, purchased from You can buy a quart for only about 8 dollars more than a pint. He likes it. has some instructions for easy application. But his car is a hunter green.

    My issued with both ZAINO and Klasse is whether they can be properly removed once applied, and whether they will yellow. I know that 3M, Collinite, and Meguiar's #26 can be removed with a glaze, and a completely fresh layer applied.
  • paulo3paulo3 Posts: 113
    I recommend Finish First Polish. It is a polymer based product that provides outstanding protection. It is also easy to apply and takeoff.

    Here is more information on the product:::::::::

  • I would try autosupermart. they beat prices witha 125% price gaurantee. I shop there all the time and they have good prices.
  • Help..
    I have noticed weird rattle noisy from hood when I drove under 15 MPH. It just happened few days ago, and I couldn't duplicate same problem at dealer. I only have 46K miles on my 97. I don't think this noise is from suspension.

    Also, I get all sort of feedback from gas pedal. For example, I can feel gas pedal shake long enough to feel shifting gears on auto-tranny. Also, higher RPM it goes, more shakes/feedback I am getting. Is this normal? I never got any feedback from my pedal on my 240SX.
  • I'm new to this forum as I am about to buy a 1996 Maxima SE with 77k miles on it.
    But I have to say I'm getting a little worried by the number of horror stories of people having sensors/wiring harnesses etc.. go bad with rather costly repairs, even on rather new and well-maintained vehicles. There don't seem to be nearly as many maintenance & repair posts from other cars I considered getting. All reports I've read have given two thumbs up for reliability though. I guess I'm wondering now if I should I buy this maxima? the current owner just had all 3 O2 sensors replaced (but with the cheapo nissan ones). any advice? i.e. are there just a lot of lemons and overall the reliability is good?

  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    Rcman you have nothing to worry about these machines are rock solid every care has it's own ideosyncrasies (hope spelled right) have plenty of friends own maximas and that is all they will buy many have accumulated many 1000's of miles without any issues except for normal maintenance items. You'll be find just have a good mechanic check it out or bring it to the dealer for a thorough once over ask owner for established records, look in the oil filler cap see if any sludge if can't detect take fingernail see if you can scrape any residue off this tell tale sign of irregular oil changes
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    so that they can comply with clean air. Considering that our new vehicles are much cleaner, and get better gas mileage than in the 60's it's generally a good tradoff.
  • Today morning, I just found out my ClearCorner Side Mark Parts only are gone. They snatched out from my bumper, and leave all cut wires. My question is how much is light harness? I think I may need bulb socket which fit into side marker parts. I don't mind loosing clear lens because they are not that expensive these days, but damage in wiring system really frustrating..
    Does dealer sell socket and wire separate or I HAVE TO replace whole wiring system?
    Thanks in advance.
  • I have a 95' Max with numerous problems.. my first problem is she overheats alot and I have changed the coolant temp sensor, thermostat, and replaced the rad fan 1 relay, the radiator fan does not cut on automatically at all, for now I hot wired the cooling fan to cut on when I start the car this solves the problem temporarily (I want to fix Permenantly). Next, while driving I hear a LOUD rattling noise when I step on the gas pedal, it usually happens when the car starts to get hot. My final problem is my car is leaking antifreeze from somewhere near the ac compressor which also makes noise when cutting on..... Plz Hlp a NewB to this site......
  • r32r32 Posts: 3
    I own a 2000 Maxima GLE. My driver seat have a tendency to squeak a lot during normal driving. I have done a few tests and have isolated the squeaking in the seat-belt. I am not certain but the squeaking seems to be cause by the seat-belt receptor rubbing against something at its mounting point. I am considering bringing it to the dealer but have read post concerning tech not being able to do anything to alleviate the problem. I would like to know if anyone else has been experiencing this, and if so, what they did to remedy the situation.

    - Jackson
  • Has anyone out there had their Max rear bumper repaired because of the scratches caused by the trunk rubbing on the top lip of the rear bumper? I have that problem and my Max will be repaired as soon as the dealer receives the parts. I'm curious how the repair turned out. I wonder if the fix will be worse than the problem itself. I know there's a TSB for this problem. Anyone remember the TSB number.

    Semper Fi
  • In response to #378...I too have this problem. My Max is Icelandic pearl and the trunk lid is actually rusting from rubbing against the lip of the bumper.When I lift the trunk I can see bare metal from where its rubbing. I thought my complaint would be futile if I was to bring this to the notice of the dealer! " Glad " I'm not alone in this ! Chris
  • CW,

    We are not alone. Other people have complained about this too. If I remember correctly there's a TSB on this. My trunk isn't rusting though. It appears you need to get your trunk repaired asap.

  • Oehrlein...
    Where can I find out about TSB's ? Also,Is your Max a 5spd? Mine is and it is about the worst stick I've ever owned! It chatters and is just plain jumpy. I cant seem to drive this car smoothly while going at normal speeds. The only way I can go from gear to gear without any "lag" is if I max out revs and rip through the gears! Thanks for any info!.....Chris
  • robertrrobertr Posts: 125
    While cleaning bugs off the headlight lenses of my 2000 Maxima SE I noticed that the headlight lenses have gotten cloudy or foggy. This seems to be on the outside, but doesn't come off. Has anyone else had this problem, and anyone found any way to polish them so they are clear again? Thanks for any input.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    I've had good luck using toothpaste to polish out the cloudy appearance on plastic headlight housings. It's just abrasive enough to do the trick, and your lights won't get cavities ;o)
  • I know this is for problems, but I also know that you all are Maxima owners and full of wisdom. I am looking at a 95 GXE, 92K, outstanding condition, no nicks in paint, no stains inside. I could buy the car for $8,000. Am I making a wise choice?
  • bianca2bianca2 Posts: 78
    but you need to consider more than just the paint and the no stains inside (although all of that is a good sign that it's probably been well maintained.) Does the current owner have all the service records? Has the oil been changed regularly? Has it had the 75,000 mile service done? That's a big one as I recall. What about the tires, are they brand new, show signs of wear, or need replacement? And finally, do you have a good mechanic that you would trust to look it over and give you a read-out on any potential problems?

    I wouldn't buy any used car with that many miles without an independent inspection, but chances are it will be a good purchase. As for price, you'll have to look around and see what others are asking for similar cars in your area. (Of course don't take so long to look around that you lose the deal!) Good luck.
  • Actually, my wife is taking it to the mechanic now. That will probably be the deciding factor. She does have all the records, even a life time warranty on the tint :o) Do you think the mileage is an issue?
  • bianca2bianca2 Posts: 78
    not necessarily. It matters a lot more how well it's been maintained. With modern cars you should be able to get at least 150,000 miles out of them. That would be maybe 5 or 6 years more on this car if you're an average driver. A well-maintained car with 92k miles on it would beat something with, say, 60,000 that's been driven hard and only had a few oil changes in its life.

    Do you know when the car was actually sold to the first owner? Date of manufacture would be on the metal tag inside the driver's side door sill. Assuming it was exactly six years ago, the driver put on around 15,000 miles a year. If it was bought in late '94 when the 95's first came out, then it's closer to 13k a year. Either way, sounds like the current owner was not putting on an excessive amount of mileage for the car's age.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Have the mechanic check the suspension carefully for signs of wear especially in the ball joints, control arms, and strut mounts where applicable. Of course at that age some normal wear and tear should be expected.
  • gslevegsleve Posts: 183
    You said you're having a problem engaging the clutch and shifting difficulties my 1998 has been plague with this problem since new could not figure it out until now after careful deep contemplation. I'd suggest you flush out or perhaps bleed the slave cylinder similar to the brake master cylinder it is very close to it against the firewall left hand corner small resivor. I implemented this procedure and I had a small amount of air bleed through and the clutch seems to be working fine now no more chatters smoother engagement. Replaced fluid with a dot 5.1 fluid you can use dot 4 which is a vavoline synthetic brake fluid
  • I bought a '01 SE about 3 months ago. A few problems have surfaced since I purchased. I wanted to see if any one else has experienced the same issues before I head to the dealership. These 4 problems are in addition to the obvious paint problems which everyone seems to have.

    First, the driver side window squeals in the track as it is powered up and down. There is obvious black marks along the edge of the window.

    Next, the passenger side window motor sounds as if it is struggling to get the window up. It takes a two to three more seconds to raise than the driver side window.

    Thirdly, the air guard for the sunroof is cracked in numerous places.

    And finally, (BIG ONE), there is a loud rubbing sound that comes from the rear driver side wheel area when the car turns or otherwise requires shock movement. I hear this mostly at low speeds, but it could be happening at high speeds also.

    Thanks for your help.
  • I have a problem with my 01 Maxima windows too. Especially the passenger side. I have to press the button down a few times before the window goes down. And the driver side window makes noise too. I haven't taken it for service yet.
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